It was winter, February 14th 2014. Almost 3 years ago. I was in my junior year of college. I had just moved home from spending only a semester on campus. (Gosh, I hated living there.) I was in my room, spending the night sulking that I didn’t have anybody to take me out that night. (True Story). But I was sulking more so because my heart was still tied to a man who had cut me off months prior and made it plain we wouldn’t be together. I was in a hurt space that us ladies know all too well, upset that the person hurt me, but not too upset to hope they will randomly text me and we will live happily ever after. I was so used to hurt, and didn’t mind going into a cycle of it, if it meant temporary happiness.
It’s not like I couldn’t have gone out. That day I remember I said no to a date- he just wasn’t right. My friend invited me out that night. I said no to her too thinking I rather be at home than on a pity Valentine’s date with one of my girls lol! I guess the date I had with Christ that night was destined.
I was at home, and reflecting on my dating life or lack there of and just felt rejected, unattractive, and alone. Back then, my worth was rooted in things like, a man, a job, or a car- nothing or should I say nobody of real importance.
I decided to shift my attention from myself and try to find some peace in the God that I claimed I loved but, rejected with my lifestyle. Just a few weeks prior I was in the club. At that present moment I swore like a sailor, and wasn’t practicing celibacy or any other thing that showed I actually loved God whatsoever.
What is even crazier is that a year prior to that I accepted the call to the altar at the church I was attending and got “saved”. But I didn’t live anything like it. My Instagram still displayed pictures of me half naked with a drink in my hand, still gave my body away, still got drunk, still cursed out people, still angry, still wanting attention, still depressed, still empty.
Some of you may think “How could you be in church and still do those things?” All I can say is maaaan, listen! I grew up in Church! I grew up in a religious family, the whole nine- but it still didn’t stop me from loving sin. Being in church and coming from a Christian family doesn’t make you a Christian or mean you have an actual relationship with Christ. But on the other hand, I’m sure being in church planted some seeds of faith that I wouldn’t see bloom until this beautiful night.
However, this night, Valentine’s Day of 2014, was different. I wanted different. That night I was tired of myself, and all the things I was doing. So I tried to find some inspiration in a few testimonial videos on people who gave their life to Christ. I mean really, did.
Video after video I watched. Some gave me joy, some made me bored, but one video particularly impacted me in such a way that I literally cried while watching it. You can watch it here .
If you don’t feel like clicking the video I’ll give you a quick synopsis: The man in the video grew up practicing black magic within his family and continued as an adult. Under the influence of Satan he would curse people, and do all types of evil things to people. What caught my attention about the video was the fact that he said he would go into clubs and bars and speak to women, and as they conversed he would take that opportunity on the inside to speak curses over the women. He also said he’d go into different neighborhoods and try to curse those living there but, if there was a group gathered together in prayer where he tried to intervene; he felt like he would lose his power and would have to go another place. The only thing that got him out that lifestyle was giving his life to Christ.
Now, I pride myself in thinking logically and not just letting my mind get carried away with just anything I see or watch but, that is truly the first time in my life where I felt my spirit being torn.
I felt (which I didn’t know at the time)the Holy Spirit starting to convict me of how I spent my time on earth, the people I surrounded myself, and the fact that there was an eternity with Jesus that I was on my way to missing out on.
I got on my knees, and cried, and cried, and cried. There was no pastor, no sermon, no music, just me in silence weeping for my sin and the path I chose over Him. I remember crying so loud almost being afraid my mom would come in and ask me what was going on. I had that ugly cry in the works!
I asked for forgiveness, and told God that I was done with those places. The next day I called both my best friends and told them that I wanted a real relationship with God and told them about the night prior. I remember one of my friends telling me that if I say I’m going to be serious about God to truly do it, and not just say I am. In that moment although she might not have known it, she was speaking to that part of me that was (and still can be) insecure in thinking that my relationship with God is some sort of phase. I didn’t want this relationship with God to be another thing I tried. He’s not a new dance class, or a New Year resolution. When Jesus came in my life, I wanted Him to stay.
I remember my first test that came a few weeks after. An old friend of mine was celebrating her birthday in New Jersey, she wanted to go clubbing, and to a strip club. I remember being afraid of saying no to her because I was afraid my convictions of the club would make me sound better than or “holier than thou”. Particurally there was this one Sunday where I was home on my laptop. I had my church’s live stream up on one tab, my school work on a second tab, and her plans for the birthday trip on another. In that moment I literally was looking my double-mindedness in the face. For the first time ever I chose God over my desire to be in darkness. I proceeded to text her and let her know that night I couldn’t go. She was upset yes, but her judgement couldn’t trump God’s judgement over me.
From then on it has been one conviction after another. Whether it meant ignoring a past dude’s text, saying no to bar-hopping, or holding in my anger so I don’t curse. This process of surrendering is difficult. I haven’t been all perfect. I can’t act like I’ve never slipped up again. I can’t say I never again did anything impure, that I didn’t end up in a place I shouldn’t have been, or even lost faith all together. But honestly, those occurrences have lessened because I lost the desire to do them.
My prayers has always been for God to make me nauseous and angry torwards sin. When temptations come to try and get me off balance I always realize Who I’m rooted in. It also helped that when I got off balance I had friends who were on balance with Him and would let me know I’m slipping. Accountability is vital to your walk. It shouldn’t be optional, you need someone who is going to push you torwards Christ and not hit you to smoke, drink, hit the club, or get into toxic situations with them like I did.
If you have been in a place of struggle or even just straight up running from God, I ask that you may truly reflect on what in your life is keeping you from Him? What void does that thing fill for you? Why do you believe Jesus cannot fill that void, Queen?
He is truly better to me than a “perfect” man, getting drunk, “turning up”, and any other thing that I desired or had tapped on my heart for so long that could never fill me. In fact, He took my desires and replaced them with His. Now my desires become His desires, and His desires become mine.
He is worth the sacrifice.
He is worth the discipline.
He is worth thinking I’m “missing out”
He is worth the surrender
He is worth it all.
So I gave it to Him.
That night in my bedroom was the start of beauty, healing, a new found hope, and an everlasting peace. My Savior took shame, lashes, and holes to make me whole. I can’t help but gladly give my life to the one who gave it all.
I’m praying for whoever this speaks to.